HHEADLINE: RGV native brings literary festival
By ELSA CAVAZOS
LA FERIA — Octavio Quintanilla grew up in Tamaulipas until the age of 9 but was raised in Weslaco.
Quintanilla said though he grew up there, has lived in various places in Cameron County.
He was an English teacher at Harlingen High School from 1999 to 2003.
Currently he is an English professor at Our Lady of The Lake in San Antonio.
He has different poetry books, focusing on narrative and lyric poetry.
Quintanilla also has a book called, “If I go missing.” Though he focuses on being a poet, he said he enjoys writing fiction, too.
Right now, he is trying to write more poetry in Spanish. Quintanilla said Latinos need more representation in the arts.
“Since 2008 I’ve been writing in Spanish and translating,” he said.
“I knew frontera Spanish and home Spanish. I wanted to be more efficient and learn academic Spanish but also because I wanted to battle the hatred towards it,” Quintanilla said.
Verso Frontera is his initiative as a poet laureate. This is a literary festival Quintanilla created in collaboration with the Our Lady of The Lake campus in La Feria.
“The purpose was basically to promote literature and bring a community of writers in one space,” he said.
“Create community and create networking. One of the reasons why we wanted to have this is because we need more events like this in our community, such as the Rio Grande Valley area,” Quintanilla said.
At the festival people were able to look at and buy Quintanilla’s books, as well as other writers.
The event began at 10 a.m. and ended at 8 p.m.
“I just want to thank the RGV community and the writers, too,” he said.